Facebook OK with stalker’s AIDS allegations

Drag queens have had a turbulent relationship with Facebook as of late, most notably the real-name controversy resulting in many performers losing the ability to use their drag names on the site, along with the company’s questionable “fixes” to the problems that policy created.

Now, the St. Louis LGBT community is in an uproar after Facebook repeatedly refused to pull the posts of a local man accusing a beloved entertainer of having AIDS. The man, who is banned from every drag bar in town, is also operating a bogus fan page to defame and harass the two entertainers in his crosshairs.

The twisted saga of the man’s fixation with entertainers Jade Sinclair and Janessa Highland can be found here, but after driving over a hundred miles to watch to two perform, the man, who identifies as heterosexual, became obsessed with ruining them any way possible. This includes trying to get them fired from jobs through online trolling, spreading rumors involving venues closing and health code violations, making claims about HIV status, threatening to bring a knife to the club and, bizarrely, vowing to become a drag queen himself — some sort of superior, evil twin of Highland.

Here are a few examples of statuses reported dozens of times, but deemed acceptable by Facebook:

AIDS claim AIDS 2fan page

Darin Slyman, CEO of Vital Voice Magazine, the state’s largest and oldest LGBT publication, had the following to say when reached at his branch office in Kansas City.

It’s baffling and unacceptable that Facebook refuses to take action against this abusive behavior, but it has been great to see the way the community has rallied to support these entertainers.

Show Director Jade Sinclair

Show Director Jade Sinclair

ab highland

“Queen of Controversy” Janessa Highland

When Super Gay Radio personality Paul InMass received Facebook’s response that accusing someone of having AIDS doesn’t violate Facebook’s Community Standards, he sent a scathing reply:

emery replyFalsely accusing someone of having AIDS and creating a page solely for harassment is disgusting that it doesn’t violate community standards. Would it be the same result if someone made a harassment page for Mark Zuckerberg claiming he has AIDS? If so I know some people who would be happy to start one.

 

For Sinclair and Highland, their Facebook-sanctioned harassment shows no signs of stopping.

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But trolling is the least of their concerns at the moment. Although he’s banned from venues for his abusive behavior and threats of approaching the stage with a knife, Pedersen  posted an update suggesting he was in the audience of a recent show.

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Two main critiques of Facebook have been that they’re a nanny state and that their policies are arbitrarily enforced, but after rejecting demands that Pedersen, his fan page or even individual posts be removed, it seems the nanny is off somewhere hitting a pipe.

Chris Andoe
Chris Andoe is an author and seasoned activist. After meeting John Aravosis at a Chicago “StopDrLaura.com” protest in 2000, Chris was inspired to organize his own major demonstrations in St. Louis, which drew national attention. Since then, his activism has revolved around LGBT, affordable housing, and mass transit issues. In 2011 Andoe made headlines taking on the amorphous hacker group Anonymous for publishing nude photos of a Bay Area Rapid Transit spokesperson, saying “Puritanical shame-based tactics have no place in the capital of sexual liberation”, and he extensively covered San Francisco's jarring gentrification, from mass evictions to the nudity ban. Andoe was on the ground in Ferguson at the height of the unrest, recording events as they unfolded. Always in the fray, Andoe’s been interviewed by NPR, CBS, and has been quoted from CNN to The St. Louis Post Dispatch.

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  • PDQ

    Whattya bet me that they’d act quickly and close down the account if someone put up a post on FB suggesting that Mark Zuckerberg and/or some of the FB board members have AIDS ?

    I don’t do FB, so I can’t try that experiment out.

  • The_Fixer

    This is one of the many problems I have with Facebook. Not only do they vacuum up personal information and use it for their own (profitable) purposes, their administration of this rather huge on-line community is tragically stupid. Needless to say, you won’t find me there.

    Allowing this harassment is borderline aiding and abetting stalkers. Their insistence on using real names is dangerous for some people. Imagine signing up for an account and then discovering that you’re married to a psychopathic individual who stalks and harasses you well after the break-up. Facebook will do little to help you because it is not profitable to do so. Your only recourse is to close your account, and if you do, don’t think that they erase all of the content on your page. People have done so, and then later reinstated their account only to discover that all of their previously posted content was still there!

    My siblings ask me why I don’t have an account, and suggest that if I had children, that I would put my reasons aside and have one to keep in contact with them. Nope. Any children that I would have would not have Facebook accounts until they were out of my house. Facebook is a problem waiting to manifest itself in the lives of their users and the innocent parties in this saga are finding that out.

    I can only hope that anyone who uses it realizes that and cancels their account – permanently. There are better on-line communities out there that do not show such blatant disregard for the well-being of their users.

  • I don’t get the cybertalking thing. I see people following semi-famous people on twitter just to send negative comments to them. Why? Not commenting on something they said or did, just insults. I just don’t understand.

  • Dorothypdunham1

    “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”…..!cc170atwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 DoIIars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k DoIIars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 DoIIars…Learn. More right Here !cc170a:➽:➽:➽➽➽➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsPageGetPayHourly$98…. .❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦::::::!cc170a….,….

  • David Bridgman

    Facebook may not think it violates their policy .. BUT .. the courts and District Attorney will definitely consider it a violation of the law and if brought to his/her attention something will be done!

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    He’s slipped the rails like Andrew Shirvell in Michigan.

  • Wow… that’s just sick. And no doubt what happens when a mentally disturbed individual is allowed (and enabled) to harm others in the externalization of his own repressed sexuality and inner conflicts.

    Seriously, the guy sounds like he’s in dire need of a mandatory psych evaluation.

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